The berries are the essential ingredient for making Sloe Gin. The tree will come with a recipe for ‘Sloe Gin’ – so delicious on a cold winter’s day…
The fruit, called a “sloe” are black with a purple-blue waxy bloom, ripening in autumn, and harvested traditionally in October or November after the first frosts. Sloes are thin-fleshed, with a very strongly astringent flavour when fresh. The berries are beneficial to birds and other wildlife.
Blackthorn is a notoriously hardy shrub. Traditionally found in hedgerows, it may be planted in most soils including sandy or clay-heavy soils and survives periods of drought that destroy other hedge plants. When planting blackthorn, however, make sure to pick a shade-free spot, as this shrubby little tree adores full sun. It is also a useful plant as it tolerates exposure to cold. Makes a good protective hedge.
Common Name: Sloe / Blackthorn
Latin Name: Prunus spinosa
Soil: Fertile: Most soils including sandy and clay-heavy soil
Position: Full sun, will take partial shade.
Flowering period: Early spring.
Fruiting: Late August
Colour: Pale pink flowers and blue black berries
Hardiness: Fully hardy
Special features: Famous for Sloe gin and vodka. Good protective hedge.
Birthday Tree: Halloween
Symbolism, Folklore & Old Wives Tales:
A recipe for SLOE GIN
Allow 1lb of sifted white sugar to 1lb of sloes. Prick the sloes and roll them in the sugar. Fill the bottles half full of sloes, and then pour in the gin till it reaches the top. Keep in a cool dark place. Do not uncork the bottle for at least six months. The longer you leave it the better it will be!!!!!!